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Notre Dame Basketball

Trainer | Notre Dame Target JP Estrella Can Be "Whatever He Wants To Be"

May 11, 2022
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He may be the hottest prospect in the country, but JP Estrella‍ doesn’t act like it.

After seeing his recruitment take off during his high school season, the 2023 Maine forward has seen it explode during the Under Armour Association Spring Sessions.

Estrella added offers from Notre Dame, Wisconsin, Illinois, Wake Forest, Miami, UConn and Virginia Tech among several others in April alone.

“All this success in the past year, I think would make a lot of young 16, 17-year-olds, a little cocky,” Estrella’s trainer, Ben Teer of Teer Basketball Training says. “You never see that with him.

“You see him very, very grounded. He's still that funny, humorous good person that he's always been. I get to see that weekly progression of all this and just being able to see him stay who he is through all this shows me more of who he is than anything else.”

Middlesex Magic head coach Mike Crotty said Estrella could have played even better in games this spring that resulted in major college offers.

Teer says Estrella has an extremely high ceiling because he’s so versatile.

“I think he's a hybrid,” Teer says. “He has the potential to do a lot of different things. In the past year, he has really blown up. You can kind of see how he has those flashes of being able to shoot the three, put the ball on the ground. He can be that stretch-four if you need him to be.

“He's so quick off of the floor too. I saw a video the other day where he jumped up for an alley-oop. Didn't have his balance in mid-air, missed it. But then hit the ground, sprang back up, tipped it and then tipped it again while the guy was still in the air for his first jump. He touched the ball three times while his defender was still in the air.”

Estrella is close to 7 feet, but doesn’t play or move like it.

“The way he can move at his size where he looks like he still hasn't even fully grown into his body is really, really scary,” says Teer. “I think once he has that and fully grows into it and adds some weight, gets some muscle on him with his skillset already, you're looking at someone who could really, really be a game-changer for a program.

“He has that type of body control with his feet.”

He can also shoot the ball.

“I kid you not, last week, he did 84 makes in seven minutes from college three,” says Teer. “These are the type of things that he's doing on the weekly and that he's getting better. Like Crotty's saying, it's really, really going to get scary as the weeks continue to progress on throughout the spring.”

Schools have talked about Estrella playing a stretch-four position, but Teer sees plenty of flexibility.

“This is going to sound so biased, but I think he could be really whatever he wants to be,” he says. “I've talked to several coaches and - I kid you not, they've compared him to a Kevin Durant-esque, where he could be that 6-11, put it on the ground, face up, go at you one-on-one, take you off the dribble. He really could be that if he wanted to be.

“Then, he could also be that stretch-four. He could set screens, he could go screen off into the corner, he could pick-and-pop, he could roll to the basket. His ability to move the way he does gives him a lot of freedom to be able to guard the one through four, one through five.”

Teer says Estrella is surrounded by a good group of coaches who will help him figure out what to focus on.

“They'll really start to help him as he will as well figure out what he wants to do and who he wants to be,” he says. “I know I keep saying it, but sky's the limit for him.”

Teer spends some time each summer helping trainer Tyler Relph in Dallas and has had the chance to work with guys like Seth Curry, Julius Randle, RJ Hampton and Drew Timme among others.

A native of Maine, Teer is happy to see a guy like Estrella help bring the state some big-time attention.

“I love it. I love it. We've been waiting for someone like him to continue to push Maine forward and show that we have ballers here. We have hoopers and we can compete with everyone else. I think he's the perfect kid to kind of have that torch passed to him and show everyone what we're about.”

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